“Bilbo Baggins called it a party, but it was really a variety of entertainments rolled into one.  Practically everybody living near was invited.  A very few were overlooked by accident, but as they turned up all the same, that did not matter.” 

Our oldest son turned thirteen this past Saturday!  He is turning into such a wonderful young man and we all enjoyed celebrating his special day with a “Lord of the Rings” themed birthday party.  Grandpa, Grandma, Uncle Brian, Aunt Meagan, and his little cousin all showed up to celebrate with us as well!  
.: Decorations :.
Gandalf Arrives Lego Set (which is being retired!) and Fireworks left over from the 4th of July
“The fireworks were by Gandalf: they were not only brought by him, but designed and made by him; and the special effects, set pieces, and flights of rockets were let off by him.  But there was also a generous distribution of squibs, crackers, back rappers, sparklers, torches, dwarf-candles, elf-fountains, goblin-barkers and thunder-claps.  They were all superb.  The art of Gandalf improved with age.” 
Folkmanis Enchanted Tree Puppet
“A queer look came into the old eyes, a kind of wariness; the deep wells were covered over. ‘Hrum, now,’ answered the voice; ‘well, I am an Ent, or that’s what they call me. Yes, Ent is the word. The Ent, I am, you might say, in your manner of speaking. Fangorn is my name according to some, Treebeard others make it. Treebeard will do.'”
~ The Two Towers 
Bud LOVES Treebeard! 
I also reused the Door Sign (You can download that document here.) I had made along with the Happy Birthday Banner (inspired by Charlotte’s lovely Lord of the Rings Banner – you can download the banner document here.) from Rascal’s Hobbit Birthday Party earlier this year.  I also had picked up a Middle Earth poster as well.  
All quick and easy! 
.: Lord of the Rings Monopoly :.

“The ring bearer is setting out on the Quest of Mount Doom. On him alone is any charge laid: neither to cast away the Ring, nor to deliver it to any servant of the Enemy nor indeed to let any handle it, save members of the Company and the Council, and only then in gravest need.” 
The Fellowship of the Ring

We spent most of the afternoon playing Lord of the Rings Monopoly!
“‘Good… good luck!’ cried Bilbo, stuttering from the cold.”
“Welcome to Gimli Land!” my husband enjoyed saying all afternoon!  
He was having a little too much fun when we all landed on his quickly developed monopoly.  😉
Thankfully, with the LOTR options, once the ring arrived at Mount Doom the torture game ended.  
.:  Second Breakfast :. 
Golden Rings, Scones and Strawberries for during the Game
.:  Middle Earth Appetizers :.

“When every guest had been welcomed and was finally inside the gate, there were songs, dances, music, games, and, of course, food and drink.” The Fellowship of the Ring

Lembas Bread

‘But we call it lembas or waybread, and it is more strengthening than any food made by Men, and it is more pleasant than cram, by all accounts.’ The Fellowship of the Ring 

Tandoori Naan Flatbread, cut in thirds, wrapped in green napkins, and tied with twine.  
Hobbit Hole Doors
(Same as these but made with Candy Buttons instead of Sixlets)
Wizard Hats 
Council of Elrond (Keebler E.L. Fudge Cookies)
Misty Mountain Trail Mix
The Ring (Peach O’s)
Gollum’s Goodies (Rainbow Fish Candies)

‘Drink it, drink it, while we can! But what is it they’ve got precious? Is it crunchable? Is it tasty?’
~ Gollum in The Two Towers 
Prancing Pony Root Beer
Shire Garden Veggies with Hummus
Farmer Maggot’s Mushrooms

Dead Marshes Dip (Chunky Spicy Guacamole) 
with Blue-Corn Chips

And for music: 

.: Birthday Gifts :.
We wrapped his birthday gifts in gold, dark brown and forest green paper, attaching gift tags and displaying a beautiful new Bookmark hand painted and ordered from The Fig and Thimble!  
There are definitely benefits to having a birthday following a yard sale and all of his younger siblings couldn’t wait to give him the gifts they had purchased with some of their earnings.  🙂 
Snuggles has said earlier in the day: “I just can’t wait to give (Captain) his presents!  He is surely going to give me a BIG hug!” And Rose?  Well, she had been working hard earning tickets with Summer Bingo and purchased the Spoons game from the prize box, which she knew her older brother had been eyeing.  
Rascal had purchased the new Lego Wizard Battle for his brother, Twinkle Toes was so excited to give him the 3D Puzzle (we found for 75% off clearance!) at Barnes and Noble, and Chiquita gave him a Gold Minifigure Case she purchased for a few dollars at ToysRUs. 
He was blessed with such thoughtful gifts from all his grandparents as well!  Sean’s parents sent him a Gettysburg 150th Anniversary Tribute by Time Magazine (having noticed that the boys had recently finished studying the Civil War) and the series of Tales of Foreign Lands which he can’t wait to start reading!  My parents surprised him with The Council of Elrond Lego Set which was assembled before the evening was over! 
The gifts could have easily stopped there, but a thirteenth birthday is extra special, and Sean and I had quite a few for him too including a copy of his favorite movie on DVD (I had sold the VHS during our yard sale), Walk with the Saints Journal (to take to camp with him this summer), along with a hand illustrated Hobbit Notebook and Grey Hood from The Fig and Thimble!
He also received a WWII Bomber Puzzle (from Costco), The Lost Stories, Attack on Weathertop Lego Set (found locally on clearance!), and the biggest surprise of all was the brand new Pirate Ship Ambush (purchased with Amazon rewards and a complete surprise since he hadn’t seen the new lego catalog)!!
The Pirate Ship Ambush has also already been assembled! 
.: One Ring To Rule Them All Birthday Cake :.

I wasn’t able to finish the cake the night before, and it cracked me up that the birthday boy didn’t want to come out to the kitchen until I was finished for “the full surprise!”  It was worth the wait and he loved his cake! 

We topped the cake with 13 candles and 3 extra sparklers to go along with our theme.  

“But they were, all of them, deceived, for another Ring was made. In the land of Mordor, in the fires of Mount Doom, the Dark Lord Sauron forged in secret a master Ring, to control all others. And into this Ring he poured his cruelty, his malice and his will to dominate all life. “One Ring to rule them all.” One by one, the Free Lands of Middle Earth fell to the power of the Ring. But there were some who resisted. A Last Alliance of Men and Elves marched against the armies of Mordor and on the slopes of Mount Doom, they fought for the freedom of Middle Earth. Victory was near. But the power of the Ring could not be undone.”
I picked up this little cake at Trader Joes since it reminded me of a volcano – perfect for Mount Doom, right?  It’s their “chocolate macaroon filled cake” and actually has a ring of coconut macaroon filling in the center!  (You can see a picture on this blog.)  I know… Sparklers aren’t really a very good idea inside the house, but we a large glass of water nearby, they didn’t quite set off our fire alarm, and we were able to get a pretty neat picture! 😉 
“And there was also one last surprise, in honour of Bilbo, and it startled the hobbits exceeding, as Gandalf intended.” 

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” 
~ Gandalf the Grey in The Fellowship of the Ring 
Happy 13th Birthday Captain! 


  1. fadfd

    Awww Jessica, what a great memory you all gave to your new teenager! These next few years with him are going to be precious for you and Sean.

    God bless!

  2. gretchen

    You are amazing, Jessica. I wish I were 1/10th as crafty as you! Beautiful party!

  3. Erin

    Love all the pics but my fav two are Captain hugging his little brother and Dad, precious:)

  4. Mom2Seven

    Just wonderful… you are such a good mom! He will remember this special 13th birthday celebration always! +JMJ+

  5. 9peasMom

    Your parties are always so inspiring! I love everything you did for his 13th – Happy Birthday to him!

  6. Lindsey

    How wonderful! You throw such amazing parties!

  7. Anonymous

    Jessica, Your kids are so lucky to have you! Thank you so much for sharing your family with us and for sharing all of your ideas (most especially the book suggestions)! As a convert, I really appreciate your blog as a resource. Bless you and your family for your generosity!

  8. Kari

    That is an amazing birthday. I'm sure he and all his siblings loved it!

    You may have said already but where did you find the birthday banner?

  9. Christine

    Happy Birthday to your son! 13 is a big number! Amazing cakes..they are always the best.

  10. Unknown

    The one ring is incredible (as was the whole layout) how did you manage to do the Elven writing on the cake ?


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Prayer of Mothers

Father in heaven, grant me the grace to appreciate the dignity which you have conferred on me. Let me realize that not even the Angels have been blessed with such a privilege—to share in your creative miracle and bring new Saints to heaven. Make me a good mother to all my children after the example of Mary, the Mother of your Son. Through the intercession of Jesus and Mary I ask your continued blessings on my family. Let us all be dedicated to your service on earth and attain the eternal happiness of your kingdom in heaven. Amen.

Our Family

Sean & Jessica, Captain-23, Ranger-22, Twinkle Toes-20, Chiquita-19, Snuggles-16, Rose-14, Bud-12, Grace-6 and Joy-4 (blog nicknames)

A Little About Me

Hi! I'm Jessica, a Roman Catholic wife and home educating mother to our nine children. I was home educated myself, along with my eleven younger siblings. I have a special devotion to St. Therese, through whom I have been given much help and many blessings--the beautiful "Shower of Roses" that she has sent my way! Here I will record a few of the blessings I treasure. Please remember that what you see here is just a little glimpse at our lives, so please say a prayer for us, as we continue to strive for holiness.

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